REVIEW: MAC 226 Brush

10 July, 2009

When this brush originally came out with BBR in January, I skipped it. Brushes rarely ever sell out, it seems, but this was an exception. I personally need a blending brush or some sort of brush with a flame shape, as I am all about the precision work and this would fit the bill. Unfortunately, it’s one that people would be VERY picky over. Who can blame them? So to hear that it was coming back with Colour Craft made me push a few things off my wishlist in order to make room. Brushes are something I need more of anyways; it’s embarrassing how few brushes I make do on.

The brush is a “tapered blending brush”. I would say that the bristles (the visible part) are about a half-inch long, so it’s not as short as I would prefer but it is still workable. Like the description says, it also does taper, so it is very good for what I need it for: precision work. I can’t just use a 217 in my crease because it is too fat, but this? Absolutely perfect for laying the colour down in the crease, as I can trace my crease exactly and get the colour where it needs to go. I then go over it with the 217 to get it blended, and that really makes a difference. I tried doing that today, and boy, was it a revelation to me! Now I can get that perfect crease, easily.On the note of the crease, I find this brush to be ideal for sticking glitter in the crease. Glitter is harder to work with since it doesn’t have the pigments that help it adhere, but it does stay decently (at least the Reflects do). Again, this is a case where you want to use a smaller brush, but it has to be rounded, not flat like the 228 or 231.

This is also good for applying shadow and giving it a nice, perfected look. It isn’t for when you want to pack the colour on, but rather get a nice wash. You can apply with the tip of the brush and blend with the side, or vice versa-it is up to you. I like applying it with the tip for my outer third/corner, but everybody has their own way of doing things.

Let’s get to the blending, though-which is what the brush is designed to do. All of the blending brushes MAC has are a lot fatter, and thus if you are like me and like precision and perfection, useless. Except this. I can use the side of it for quick blends, or I can use the tip to get it nice and perfected. It will take practice, working with a new tool, however I am road-testing it tomorrow with Sea & Sky and Crystal Avalanche-to see if it really can effectively blend those different colours.

Price-wise, it’s about typical for a MAC brush-$24.50. If I already had the 226 from BBR, I still would have bought another, because it’s that amazing. This, more than anything, is a rush-buy. As in, it will sell out this weekend in many markets, nationwide by next weekend. That’s my prediction, looking into the crystal ball (which is really an Escada Pacific Paradise bottle). This brush is easily at least a 9.5/10, and I’ve only used it for one look. I am sure it will be a perfect 10.

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